"Crazy/Beautiful" (PG-13, 1 hour, 35 minutes)
An unusually well-acted and serious-minded teen love story, "Crazy/Beautiful" should capture the sympathies of teenage girls. Along with its entertaining love story and catchy soundtrack, the movie tackles serious themes - alcoholism, drug abuse, parental loss, depression and suicide. There are muted, nonexplicit sexual situations between high-schoolers, plus sexual innuendo, teens smoking marijuana, drinking and acting wasted. It's not for preteens.
"A.I." (PG-13, 2 hours, 26 minutes)
Though often brilliant, this isn't the sort of movie to carry kids over that glowing "E.T."-style moon. This futuristic science-fiction Pinocchio tale about a child robot who longs to be human has a distancing, often creepy effect, so uncompromising is its vision, so willing is it to do more than entertain. Many teens will leave scratching their heads, though sci-fi buffs and philosophers among them will be in awe. The PG-13 reflects sexual innuendo, violent scenes of humanoid robots being torn apart for sport, a murdered human and themes of loss and loneliness.
"Baby Boy" (R, 2 hours, 9 minutes)
Filmmaker John Singleton ("Boyz N the Hood," R, 1991, "Rosewood," R, 1997) has fashioned a profane, violent, sexually explicit morality tale. The movie's raucous style may help get its message of responsibility across to the target audience - young urban African-American men. Singleton may have intended his movie for high-schoolers as well as young adults, but "Baby Boy" might titillate more than teach those under 17, with its explicit sexual situations, nudity, an attempted rape in front of a young child (a particularly creepy scene), vivid profanity, racial slurs, gunplay, drug and liquor use, and an implied abortion.
Beyond the ratings game
Kids 6 and older:
"Dr. Dolittle 2," PG: Dr. Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) tries to teach performing bear to live in the wild, mate with female from his endangered species and stop destruction of a woodland. Much slightly risque humor that kids will miss while entertained by animal potty jokes and general furry cuteness. Gags about neutering dogs; sexual innuendo.
"Atlantis: The Lost Empire," PG: Animated adventure about museum researcher (voiced by Michael J. Fox) who goes on underwater expedition, finds lost but living civilization of Atlantis. Scarier, more violent than most Disney 'toons; underwater attack robots like monster lobsters; gunplay, fights, though no injuries shown; giant cyborgs awaken; volcano erupts; character chain-smokes.
"Shrek," PG: Computer-animated fractured fairy tale about bad-tempered ogre (voice of Mike Myers) who goes on mission with talking donkey (Eddie Murphy) to free spellbound princess (Cameron Diaz) and deliver her to evil lord. Comic violence; fire-breathing dragon; toilet humor; visual gags with derrieres.
"The Fast and the Furious": Vin Diesel, Paul Walker in teen flick set against illegal street racing scene in L.A. with kids souping up Japanese imports. Close to R violence with drive-by shootings, other gunplay, fights; profanity; misogynistic and racial slurs; strong sexual innuendo, milder sexual situation. No preteens.
"Lara Croft: Tomb Raider": Angelina Jolie as aristocrat-adventurer who finds mysterious artifact sought by evil secret society. Bloodless gunplay, fists, daggers; rare mild profanity; subtle sexual innuendo; hints of chaste seminudity.
"Evolution": David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Julianne Moore as scientists vs. fast-evolving alien critters in sci-fi spoof. Swearing; sexual innuendo; colorectal humor; character moons folks; gun violence; smoking. Phobic alert: Wormy aliens evolve into bugs, reptiles, apes, huge blobs. Iffy for nightmare-prone preteens.
"Moulin Rouge": Nicole Kidman as Parisian nightclub chanteuse circa 1899, Ewan McGregor as writer who loves her in postmodern musical with production numbers in frenetic MTV style. Strong sexual innuendo; prostitution theme; hallucinogenic effects of absinthe.
"The Animal": Rob Schneider in doofus comedy about timid police clerk who becomes strong hero when mysterious scientist mends him with animal parts after car crash. Much toilet humor; crude sexual innuendo; mild profanity. Iffy for preteens.
"Pearl Harbor": Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett as U.S. pilots, Kate Beckinsale as Navy nurse who loves them in World War II epic. Largely nongraphic injuries; rare profanity; racial epithet; understated sexual situation; sailors' bare behinds; drinking.)
"Swordfish": John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry in high-tech thriller about mysterious super-patriot villain who recruits hacker to help transfer billions in government funds for special project. Explicit, often demeaning sexual situations; profanity; shootings, explosions, child held hostage; seminudity; drugs, liquor, cigarettes. 16 and older.
"The Anniversary Party": Hollywood couple (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Cumming) reunite after separation, throw party for showbiz friends. Characters use Ecstasy, drink, smoke; toplessness; steamy though nonexplicit sexual situations; drug overdose, suicide theme. 16 and older.